22 May

Moxa Series- Eyeball moxibustion

eyeball moxibustion in action. This weird type of therapy we would probably not do in our award winning downtown toronto acupuncture clinic.

If you suffer from any eye diseases, would you consider burning your eyeballs? With spring finally here, I thought I would share some weird and wonderful treatments for the eyes.  Each of the 4 seasons is related to an organ. Spring has a connection to the liver. Lots of folks are busy trying various body spring cleaning practices- special diets and detoxes.  How about a spring eyeball burning detox? Well not a direct burn, but how about a little moxibustion that can soothe the eyes, optic nerves and even the brain?  It is a less well known type of heat therapy and I’ve been waiting a year to share this stuff with you.

What is Eyeball moxibustion?

Healing the eyes via burning mugwort a couple of inches from face. The heat is warm soothing and has been used for thousands of years.


In Japan I don’t sight see, I avoid the fish,  and I don’t shop because I’m a very cheap person.  I spend a lot of time soaking in onsens and most importantly I spend as much time as I can learning fascinating things that will help my care at the Center be solid. I’ve been lucky enough to learn about Japanese eyeball moxa!! Although we wouldn’t offer this kind of therapy at the clinic, it’s an interesting alternative eye care that’s worth sharing. I’d like to share a couple of eye warming moxabustion inventions from around Asia. The first is a Japanese invention that I discovered while learning stuff at Sankei, the only Japanese shop entirely devoted to moxibustion. They don’t really have a name for this invention but the ceramic “pot” is handmade and apparently safe. Hmmm, not 100% comfortable with it on anyones face but heck, I was on vacation far away from law suits, liabilty and inhibitions… so fun to try!!

I got a chance to have it done on me as well as practice it on a friend at the shop. Check out the video below of me at the Tokyo moxa shop…

Toronto Acupuncturist gives Eyeball Moxibustion at Sankei Shop in Tokyo

http;//www.acupuncturecentertoronto.com At Acupuncture Center Toronto we may not practice eyeball moxibustion however we love learning about everything moxa related. When I visitted Tokyo, I got a chance to try this weird and wonderful therapy on my friend.


I was actually introduced to the moxa eyeball pot in 2015 on my first trip to Tokyo. I dug up these old pics. I may have looked quite relaxed but am not going to lie; I was a bit apprehensive about slapping on the pot over my precious lids.

Man preparing moxabustion to go over eye Acupuncture Center Toronto practices moxabustion so it is relevant

Hiroshi getting a massive hunk of moxa ready to sooth my travel weary eyes.

Downtown Toronto Acupuncture clinic offers moxibustion. In this photo, the moxibustion is a hunk of mugwart that is ready to be placed in a ceramic pot that goes over the eye.

Aaaaaaand Voila! Fire is lit. Japanese Eyeball Moxibustion is hot and ready for placement.

Sarah Kreitzer Toronto's best acupuncturist takes a break in Tokyo to try Japanese eyeball moxibustion

So not relaxed.

Toronto Acupuncturist Sarah Kreitzer owner of acupuncture center toronto practices eyeball moxibustion on her friend Hiroshi from Sankei moxa shop

Now my turn to place the pot. Easy does it, Don’t make any sudden movements.

eyeball moxibustion in action. This weird type of therapy we would probably not do in our award winning downtown toronto acupuncture clinic.

This photo is my personal favorite. Note the sesame seed on Hiroshi’s mouth. Also seen is his ADORABLE auntie that passed away last year. She had a sister that looked exactly like her. They were dutiful moxibustion shop helpers.

Walnut Shell Glasses

Another probably slightly safer option which I would endorse slightly more would be walnut shell glasses. These came onto the market in the 1970’s somewhere in China. There are different styles of glasses available and they differ in heat intensity.

Walnut shell glasses are wearable walnut shells with a hot herb that is burned a couple of inches away the heat is healing and is from moxibustion which is mugort

Don’t try this on your children at home! This little guy is wearing walnut shell glasses. The white rectangles are scrunched up hunks of mugwort that is lit on fire to burn.

Basically, healing mugwort is burned near the eyes with the walnut shells acting as a semi porous buffer from the heat. Remember that the heat from mugwort is incredible and can relieve so many health issues.

*Moxibustion for the eyes can relieve:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Styes
  • Keratitis
  • Myopia
  • Cataracts
  • Optic nerve issues (paralysis and atrophy)

*Source- Moxibustion: A Modern Clinical Handbook- Lorraine Wilcox

Both of these funky techniques may not grace our clinic anytime soon.  However for the adventurous willing to experiment with alternative eye care if you do try this will you please let us know how it goes?!